My Worth!?

“We have estimated the price of comparing search traffic, unique visitors and realtime advertising rates to $137 You can place our pricetag widget on your site in order to get attention to your users.”

I don’t often use Google Search. The other day, however, I did. I found several sites like this one, with an entire advertising profile for my name. Apparently, these are market research agencies, keyword researchers ao. I realize, that internet use isn’t free. Yet, it feels as if vultures are circling around my site. And me! (Though the IP-number mentioned isn’t mine, thank God.) Am I wrong to think so? Or is my only problem that I’m not getting any of this money? Can I place their widget on my blog? What is it, that these people do with my data?

I just wonder what other bloggers do with this, iow, what’s your view on it?

And maybe, you, owners, are kind enough to give me your reaction?

Sincerely, @D


Flashes of hyacinth scent enter through the car window… 🙂

up close in my world

Dutch flower fields – Copyright @ LosAngelas

*** update : visit this post at my moved blog : HERE ***

In this time of year it’s great to live where I live, which is a the edge of the bollenstreek or “flower area” Tourists from all over the world make a stop here to enjoy the sight of these flower power fields and no wonder, cause on a sunny day, as it was when I drove through there, the colors are so beautiful and intense.

Dutch flower fields - Copyright @ LosAngelas

Dutch flower fields - Copyright @ LosAngelas

When you have the change to buy some of tulips or hyacinths, grab the opportunity to brighten up your house with a bit of dutch spring colors.

Dutch flower fields - Copyright @ LosAngelas

Dutch flower fields - Copyright @ LosAngelas

Dutch Flower Fields - Copyright @ LosAngelas

Update: 3 May – Since I have made it onto Freshly Pressed and this post is greatly visited, I decided to add a couple more photos 🙂

Dutch flower fields - Copyright @ LosAngelas

Dutch flower fields - Copyright @ LosAngelas

Dutch flower fields - Copyright @ LosAngelas

Dutch flower fields - Copyright @ LosAngelas

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Dear Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, Fitch Ratings, Dear other CRAs

Herewith I sincerely request you to scrutinize the Netherlands’ credit handling as thoroughly as possible. This country with it’s big mouth on others, has a history of hidden corruption and consumer intimidation practices. Says who? Says me, a consumer affected by practices of public offices and large corporations.

#Dutch tax office, an update

My last posting on this topic described how the Dutch tax office, here called the Belastingdienst, denies and ignores tax payers’ declarations. I have an answer from them now. They acknowledge they throw away declarations, without giving a reply to the tax payer, and then fine him or her. They acknowledge I had to hand in those papers several times. They even acknowledge that it’s deliberate policy now not to be available by fax or email. The only way to reach them is by registered letter or by their own defective, low quality and highly unsafe software program called DigiD. The software was recently hacked by the Iranian government. They even acknowledge that not every computer and therefore not every tax payer can request the admission code for the stupid program. (I am one of those). They ‘understand’ my reply, namely that a good paper copy of my tax declaration on their own paper format is good enough for them to read. After all, I had to deliver thus, because they had thrown away my original tax declarations for 2009 and 2010. They closed the case for 2010, they acknowledged their error and I won’t be fined for that year. However, for 2009, a court case is on its way, coming Wednesday. I have made a case of their throwing away my tax declaration and then, after I had sent a copy for the third time, saying I had handed in ‘late’. The most shocking detail was that they used their own office stamp to prove that I was ‘late’… this is independent objective fact finding in the Netherlands! How low can you go, how disgustingly incestuous can things grow.

But I’m sure that nothing will change. It’s easy to throw away correspondence, then say it wasn’t received and fine the tax payer. This is the way the younger generation tax officers works nowadays, I was told. I fear I receive help now because I’m articulate enough to search publicity. The tax officer was kind to me, but that doesn’t solve the structural problem.

#Swedish-Dutch gas & electricity company Nuon, another update

Another bad guy, quite notorious here. Consumer organizations keep a close eye on them for their hidden corruption and intimidation practices. Not just them: all energy suppliers hold similar practices. Me, I have to deal with Nuon.

The customer pays Nuon a monthly advance based on energy use of the previous year. At the end of their business year they come to measure your year’s energy use. Then you receive a lengthy bill stating how much you are to pay extra, or will be refunded. If you’re entitled a refund, you have to settle with this bill, because refund they don’t do anymore, is the reality. They ‘must’ deduct ‘costs’. Something else. If you don’t allow them automated payment, you will receive extra bills, especially if you paid even only a few days after their due day. You must pay large sums per month extra ‘collection fee’, at least 5 euros per bill. They’re not allowed to do this, they must offer the customer a free alternative for automated payment. However, even if you do pay those extra bills for ‘collection fee’, you can be sure to be harassed next year with a much higher bill over precisely the same items you have paid for now! So as a customer you must keep your financial administration indefinitely, because it seems they hope a moment comes the customer can’t prove anymore having paid those bills several years ago. It is a battle for the long run. This is normal with many companies here, because they’re poorly handling automated payment, hardly know their own finances and try to take advantage of customers. In the case of energy companies it’s extra unpleasant, because they are an oligopoly and may cut off your energy supply. All the same, I try to restrict any subscriptions to other products to the minimum. For this very reason! I’m tired with the unjustified harassment.

A fresh update on #Nuon They gave me a phonecall: I must pay those ‘costs’ and they will, again, send a debt collector or bailiff to me, to which I replied that I had requested them to do so years ago. I want them to go to court. The lady on the other end of the phone line replied ‘we’ll see‘. Interesting answer. That means, I guess, ‘like before we won’t go to court, because we don’t have a strong case against you and will harass you next year. Maybe you won’t keep your financial administration and then we’ll be able to collect your money’.

#My hope is that credit rating agencies are willing to dive into Holland’s obsolete amateurish dishonest credit culture and give it what it deserves: #hell


The Giant’s Causeway: Part Geology – Part Mythology (via The Unwitting Traveller)

Great pics! Thanks for sharing, @D

The Giant’s Causeway: Part Geology – Part Mythology One of the most amazing Natural Wonders of the United Kingdom, the Giant’s Causeway was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. Located on the northern coast of County Antrim, near Bushmills (yes, whiskey Bushmills!) Giant’s Causeway is a must see for anyone. Being a geologist, it was only a matter of time before I would marvel at this natural volcanic landscape for myself.  It’s a bit of a “Busman’s Holiday”, but it is stuff like this tha … Read More

via The Unwitting Traveller

Amsterdam [Photos] (via Mark Roddis)

Hugzzz to you for sharing the Amsterdam canals!

Amsterdam [Photos] I managed to grab a few days in Amsterdam last week and just take some time out to explore the city. As usual, all the photos I took can be found here, however here is a selection of images to get you started. Remember, the full album can be found HERE UPDATE: WOW I actually got chosen to appear on Freshly Pressed. Thanks guys … Read More

via Mark Roddis

Day 23: Sunprint-Paper & Packing Tape Transfers on Decoupage Boxes (via dianne faw)

Nice technique

Day 23: Sunprint-Paper & Packing Tape Transfers on Decoupage Boxes I used two different techniques for my creations today and both are cool, easy and fun. I then used the results to cover kraft paper boxes.  I wanted something really nifty because I was the lucky recipient of a big envelope of craft supplies, thanks to Scotch Brand Products and the team at 30 Days of Creativity. I got an email about 10 days into the month from the team asking if I’d like some freebies (are you kidding? YES!) and saying they thou … Read More

via dianne faw